I've been talking about blogging a lot lately on the site because I've been busy promoting my beginner blogger course, Beginner Blog Accelerator. Although teaching others how to “make money blogging” is one of the draws, I don't want current, potential, and future students to miss out on a really big lesson and it's my final one from a week full of content about how to start a great blog.
Really, in order to blog you don't have to be a webmaster, copywriter, or social strategist (although trust me, those really do help). There are only two crucial components to being a successful blogger: the first is tenacity, and the second is that in order to become a great storyteller, you have to be truly comfortable sharing your story. Below are my best tips on how to become more comfortable with the art of storytelling via a blog.
3 Ways to Use a Blog to Share Your Story
Step #1 – Discover Your Passions (…and Talk About Those Instead)
It's easier to talk about something you're passionate about than talking about yourself, right? If we frame everything we blog about through the lens of what we're passionate about, why we're passionate about it, and how our knowledge in the area can help others, the conversation becomes less about “me, me, me” and instead more about “this, this, this.”
I talk a lot in the course about the “art of authentic helpfulness” and how it is critical to growing a following today.
So, if you're thinking about starting a blog, or feel something is missing from your own, examine your own passions. Are you blogging about something that really sets your gut on fire? Do you wake up every day wanting to blog/write about your chosen subject? Most importantly, do you want to share that knowledge and that story so you can help people whether it's to educate, entertain, or empathize?
You really should have all of those feels. At least in the beginning.
For those who have been blogging for years (like me), I think we can all agree that this feeling comes and goes, but never disappears completely.
Step #2 – Dig Deep and Overcome Your Shyness (It's Critical!)
Being a blogger seems like a great thing if you're introverted. You can sit behind a computer all day, by yourself, and not have to talk to anyone or even get dressed if you don't feel like it. It feels solitary and quiet, but if you're creative you can still feel like you're scratching that “artistic” itch.
But no one's going to read your blog unless you begin telling them about it. No one's blog just explodes these days. So if you want to blog, you have to become comfortable telling people you have one. It can't be your secret child from an illicit affair in Cancun three years ago that you only visit on its birthday.
Overcoming shyness also comes into play once your blog blows up.
It's even worse when someone you know “in real life” mentions something you wrote on the blog, even in casual passing. It feels like someone read your diary and is discussing it with you, live in real time until you remember that you wrote it and pressed publish and put it out there for everyone to see.
This just comes part and parcel with being brave enough to share your story online. Just trust me, the benefits far outweigh the negatives. What I mean when I say that is there will be far more people who love and resonate with your story than those who take offense. They'll email you and make you feel special and like you're doing important, life-changing work because sharing your story made them feel not so crazy/alone/financially irresponsible/ etc.
But it comes with time, and you have to dig deep to get over that initial shyness. It fades, sure, but it takes practice.
Step #3 – Use a Blog to Share Your Story by Leveraging What Makes It Unique
This is the “attracting millions” part I mentioned in the catchy click-bait-y title I pulled together for you. (OH LAUREN, YOU'RE SUCH AN INTERNET PRANKSTER! You say.)
The internet world is crowded now, but that shouldn't deter you from starting. It simply means that bloggers today have to be more strategic. Today in order to get your voice heard above the noise, you have to pick out the parts of your story that make you unique and leverage that to stand out and get noticed.
For example, back in 2014, I wanted to get a heap of media exposure for my blog because I felt like that was what was “missing” from my website. I pitched a ton of press opportunities on HARO (I also cover this in my “Pitching for Press Exposure Workbook” which I offer in BBA), but I wasn't getting anything.
It wasn't until I started talking about my experience as a “millennial homeowner” and that I'd been engaged and the home purchase had kinda ruined everything that I began to get attention…and lots of it.
It was uncomfortable, laying my scars and mistakes out there for all to see, but doing so tripled my blog traffic (at the time) and helped me reach an audience of other potential homeowners who wanted to know how to be educated, informed consumers when making the biggest, scariest purchase of their lifetime.
So if you want to share a story and attract a ton of readers, you have to really lean on the bit of that story that's maybe a little messy. Your experiences are what make you unique. Don't cheapen them by hiding it all away.
Conclusion or the TL:DR
I've gone on long enough now, but the gist of it is that if you want to blog to share a story and reach the masses you have to do three things:
- Zero in on your passions.
- Work to overcome any shyness that having a blog/being a blogger may cause.
- Leverage the unique angles of your story to garner internet exposure.
Remember: The best bloggers are the ones who are master storytellers. Only through storytelling and finding your voice will you separate your baby blog from the pack.